UCAS Applications 2020: Oxbridge Applications – Essential Info


2nd September 2020

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In the midst of a global pandemic with its intertwined exam and A-Level grade controversy, your 2021 university application may seem like a minefield of confusion at the moment. However, with the Oxbridge deadline just a few short weeks away on the 15th October, the final window to submit is fast approaching. From what is required to subsequent steps, Oxbridge Personal Statements can offer support at each stage of your application journey.

Can I apply to both Oxford and Cambridge?

You can either choose to apply to Oxford or Cambridge, not both. So, make sure you do your research, attend open days (Oxford and Cambridge university have both offered virtual open days this year) and talk to alumni if you can. Both universities have the same application deadline this October.

When is the deadline for submitting my application?

To study at Oxbridge, you must submit your application to UCAS by 6pm on the 15th October 2020. This is the final date for submitting your application and you must have all steps, including an academic reference and personal statement, completed. As the applications opened in June, many of you may have been busy working away at your applications, with submissions open from early September. If not, don’t panic, there is still time and Oxbridge Personal Statements is here to help.

What do I need to complete in UCAS before the deadline?

The Oxbridge UCAS application process has five separate steps. Firstly, you will be required to insert various personal details, including your name, email and home address. Next, you will be asked to insert any academic qualifications and, in most cases, predicted A-Level grades. The third and most time-consuming aspect of the application is the personal statement. This is a vital step that offers the opportunity to showcase your skills in a way that makes you stand-out-from-the-crowd. The final steps include an academic reference and, in some cases, paying a UCAS fee to complete the process (discuss with your academic institution whether this is necessary). Each of these stages needs to be completed before the deadline.

Why do I need a personal statement?

One of the core features that sets Oxbridge aside from other universities is its admirable standards of academic excellence. Although there are distinct exceptions to the rule, many of the students applying to Oxbridge will be high-achievers, attaining well-earned A* and A grades next summer. Considering this pool of competition, the personal statement offers a valuable opportunity to set you apart from other candidates, making you more than just a collection of impressive grades on a page and instead illustrate the motivated, hard-working and well-rounded student that you are. This is particularly necessary for the upcoming application season as, due to the imposed COVID-19 restrictions, many Oxbridge courses will be unlikely to follow the standard interview process, rendering the statement the sole source of personalising your application. Here at Oxbridge Personal Statements, we have decades of experience helping students to craft their statement and can provide assistance at each stage.

What happens next?

Once you have submitted your application, it is a waiting game while the Admissions Committee takes the time to work through your submission. This can take anywhere from a few days to a number of weeks. You may be required to sit an admission test for your chosen course. Registration for these tests is not automatic and is not a part of the UCAS process, so make sure to check whether this is required for your individual course and follow the university’s instructions to register. In light of COVID-19 and social distancing restrictions, many of these tests may be moved online, switched for alternative assessments or scrapped completely, so keep an eye on your emails to find out exactly what is required for your course.

Many courses also require an interview. This offers an opportunity for you to find out as much as you can about your given university as much as it offers academics a chance to learn more about you. Again, due to COVID-19 restrictions, many of Oxbridge’s courses that usually offer interviews may remove this step in the 2021 season, so make sure you check your emails regularly.